All Reports

FairVote Research Reports analyze American and international elections and election practices, studying the effect on voter participation, fairness in representation and competitive choice.

Latest Reports

  • Fuzzy Math: Wrong Way Reforms for Allocating Electoral Votes

    January 28, 2015

    States have a constitutional obligation to decide how they will allocate their electoral votes during presidential elections. Almost all states currently use statewide, winner-take-all rules, which gives all of the state's votes to the winner of the statewide popular vote. But some states have considered alternative methods, such as the whole number proportional system and the congressional district system. We look at the effect these systems would have on presidential elections. Neither system promotes majority rule, increases competitiveness nationwide, or ensures voter equality.

  • Federal Primary Runoff Elections and Voter Turnout Declines, 1994 - 2014

    November 17, 2014

    Many states currently use runoff election systems during primaries for statewide federal posts. However, the two-election runoff system leads to high turnout declines and a less representative second election, particularly if there is along time delay between the two elections.

  • The Role of Cities in National Popular Vote Elections

    June 13, 2014

    In debating options for reforming presidential elections in the United States, the most promising alternative to the status quo is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV). But even though we use popular vote elections to select every member of Congress and all 50 governors, some NPV skeptics warn that its adoption would have a partisan impact on presidential elections. They fear that Democrats could increase their national vote totals by focusing resources on major metropolitan areas, while Republicans could achieve similar gains only by spreading their resources across more geographically dispersed, non-urban areas. This report challenges this argument in three ways. 

  • The Role of Cities in National Popular Vote Elections

    June 13, 2014

    This report challenges the argument that a national popular vote for president would advantage Democratic or urban voters in three ways. First, we demonstrate that urban areas, when properly defined as metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), lean only modestly toward the Democratic Party. 

  • How the 2012 Presidential Election Has Strengthened the Movement for the National Popular Vote Plan

    May 2, 2014

    This article, published in the June 2013 edition of Presidential Studies Quarterly, surveys the inequality in campaign resource allocation during the 2012 presidential election and demonstrates that this inequality is unlikely to dissipate unless more states enact the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. 

  • Redistricting Reform in the South

    February 21, 2014

    Nowhere in the United States are the pernicious effects of gerrymandering and winner-take-all, single-member districts more clearly visible than in the South. In the line of states running from Louisiana to Virginia, congressional races are nearly universally uncompetitive, Democrats are systematically disadvantaged, and African Americans are underrepresented in spite of the Voting Rights Act. 

    Through the use of sample maps, this report examines the impact that different redistricting criteria would have on partisan and racial representation in the South.